Copywrite: ©2010 John D. Smith
Most inventors are encouraged to file a Utility Patent with the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office (USPTO) to “protect” their invention and prevent a copycat
from stealing it. Having made millions of dollars in revenue over many years
selling my Storm Stoppers invention, and having spent almost $25,000 on patent
attorneys and government filing fees, I have learned that filing a Utility Patent
Application is a bad idea. Save your money.
To save inventors a lot of needless expense, here is one of the 10 reasons I
suggest you NOT file a patent on your invention:
The Office Action rejection process is a moneymaker for patent
attorneys but a money loser for the Inventor
The Office Action is a document written by a Patent Examiner after they have
examined the patent application. This is the first time the inventor will see the
roadblocks that the Patent Office puts in his path to prevent him from receiving a
patent. In the Office Action, the Patent Examiner’s goal is to reject the patent
application. This practice is affirmed on the Patent Office’s website under “Office
Action” at: www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/doc/general/index.html#office.
|Chapter 1 EXCERPT
DON’T File a Patent! The Patent Office
wants your money, not your invention
This states in part, “It is not uncommon for all of the claims to be rejected on the first Office action
by the Examiner; relatively few applications are allowed as filed.”
Your legal costs will increase with every Office Action rejection
Every time The Patent Office sends you an Office Action rejection letter, you have to pay your
attorney thousands of dollars in legal fees for him to file a response. You must respond within
three months of the due date shown on the Office Action rejection letter. However, for an
additional $555 government fee, you can get a three month extension. The Patent Office has
over six pages of fees that it charges for patent-related services. Visit www.uspto.gov and put
“Fee Schedule” in the search box to see the extensive fee list
The Patent Office makes hundreds of millions in patent application fees each year
Each year, the Patent Office earns hundreds of millions of dollars in patent application fees.
According to www.inventionstatistics.com, the number of patent applications filed in 2009 was
482,871. This included 456,106 utility, 25,806 design and 959 plant patent applications filed.
The average cost of government filing fees for a Utility Patent was $500, (this includes the basic
filing fee of $165 as well as other typical fees) and the 2009 patent allowance/acceptance ratio
was 42%. In 2009, 456,106 Utility Patent Applications were submitted at an average
government filing fee of $500 each. That is average annual gross revenues to the Patent
Office of at least $228 million dollars for initial patent application fees.*
|Chapter 11 EXCERPT
Attorneys are like Pac-Man: They will
eat up your money and be hungry for more!
Attorneys are like a bottomless cup that you keep pouring
money into. Most patent or litigation attorneys charge at
least $300 per hour. Working a 40 hour workweek, that is
$12,000 per week they could bill you. If you make $10 in
profit for each unit you sell, you’d have to sell 1,200 units just
to pay for one week of their billable time. That is far too
much to pay an advisor.
|Chapter 16 EXCERPT
Protect your invention without a patent
There are many ways to protect your product without a patent and several of them don’t cost
One thing you should consider doing right away is a patent search. I don’t recommend doing a
patent search yourself, as it is a specialized process involving online and in-person patent
searches that only a patent attorney should do. The cost is about $600.
If neither a patent search nor an Internet keyword search locates a similar product, your invention
may have potential. After you’ve followed the four steps for a successful invention in Chapter 5,
here is one of the 11 ways to protect your product without a patent:
#1 Way to protect your product without a patent
The best way to protect your invention is to get your product into your customer’s mind first. Be
first to market it, so you can be first in the customer’s mind. This is what I did with Storm Stoppers
and it has worked very well.
There are some people in the patent industry that would suggest you protect your product by
filing a Utility Patent Application on your product before you market it. I disagree with that advice.
Since 2004, my company has had sales of over $5 million, retail and wholesale, with Storm
Stoppers without any patent protection.
If I had waited to market Storm Stoppers until I had a patent, I wouldn’t be in business right now. I
wouldn’t have a great brand, thousands of customers or any of the wonderful experiences that
marketing and selling my product right away has brought me.
To read more about protecting your invention without a patent, as well as learn how to
build a great website for under $1,000, a dozen ways to market your product, how to
position your invention to the Media and many tips to manufacture and sell your
product yourself, ORDER DON’T FILE A PATENT! EXPANDED 2ND EDITION HERE!
The Patent Office’s posted allowance ratio in 2009 was 42%, or $96
million of the total revenue. This means that 58%, or $132 million of
the total revenue was earned through issuing at least one Office
Action rejection. There must be an Office Action Rejection Wheel in
every Patent Examiner’s office. This helps Patent Examiners decide
whether to approve or deny a patent application. As you can see
from the wheel, there aren’t very high odds for approval.
*According to a June 23, 2009 Reuters article, the Patent Office’s annual budget has been
estimated to be $1.9 Billion. The Utility Patent Application filing fee revenue makes up less
than 15% of this annual budget.
If you give an attorney a $5,000 retainer, he will eat it
up like a Pac Man and give you a bill for another $5,000
Attorneys don’t make money unless they have
something to bill clients for. Thus, the first loyalty an
attorney will have is to his billable hourly legal fees.
The needs of the client may be a distant second. As
the cartoon below humorously illustrates, many